What would you have done if I had asked you what were the features you were looking for in the acoustic preamp? Though I understand the diversity of the answers, I’m always curious about the general patterns that can be drawn out from such queries. It can be anything from equalizers and tone shaping to sophisticated studio quality properties. Whatever your needs may be, you need a pedal that will correspond to them perfectly, otherwise you won’t be able to fully appreciate the virtues of that specific device. I know many of you enjoy L.R. Baggs Venue DI a great deal, which isn’t surprising – that thing is out of this world. However, not everyone requires something of that level. Many of us want a simplified version that still delivers the quality we long for. L.R. Baggs took the matters in their own hands and manufactured something that makes a lot of sense. Their Session DI Acoustic Preamp is a smaller, easier preamp that will still give you the same outcome. If your pedalboard is overcrowded and can’t handle huge footprints, if you want to commit to something that you’ll use daily, then keep on reading and familiarize yourself with the features of this one. Let’s get started and see what we’re dealing with here!
As I have already mentioned, L.R. Baggs Session DI delivers everything you’d need from an acoustic preamp. It has some really interesting and exciting features as well as some “traditional” properties that you simply expect to be there. First of all, it offers analog saturation functionality, which enhances the original qualities of your sound and makes them more prominent. And that is needed when we’re dealing with acoustic guitars, since their pickup signal can be sometimes dull and artificial. This feature will easily prevent that from happening and improve the quality of your performance a great deal. Additionally, Session DI comes with Garret Null notch filter that successfully eliminates the feedback and refines your sound professionally. Nobody wants that annoying sonic mistake to interfere with their life, am I right? We do also have an in-built compressor and equalizer that further shape your sound and evaporate everything that seems to be improper. With this pedal you do also have the opportunity to utilize High Pass Filter in order to tame the noise coming out of lower frequencies. And there’s more. Session DI has a VU meter that will dictate when the signal is about to clip and, thus, prevent distortion from occurring unexpectedly. This indicator will also dictate if your battery is draining and it is already time to swap it for a new one. When it comes to powering options, this puppy offers three different methods: as you’ve probably already guessed, you can insert the battery and switch it on that way, or connect an adapter and ease the whole process, or utilize 48V phantom power. No matter which one you’ll choose, this baby will deliver equal performance with all of them. Last but definitely not the least, it has standard input and output, as well as an XLR output located on the surface of the pedal. The latter can be utilized to connect Session DI to a mixing console. All in all, this one does everything to lure you into its web, doesn’t it?
The control section of L.R. Baggs Session DI is so easy to understand that you won’t even have to open the manual and scrutinize anything in there. You can just take the pedal, read all the labels, do some tweaking and you’ll be good to go. Nothing beats the stompbox that can be configured in a matter of seconds, don’t you agree? But I still want to help you as much as I can and I’ll discuss all the available controls below.
Let’s start our discussion with Gain. This little knob adds more strength and volume to your signal, thus letting its components to scream through the whole mix. This one must be used in conjunction with the VU meter to make sure distortion doesn’t occur. If you press Batt Check, VU meter will indicate how much life your batteries have left. Then we have Volume, which sets the level of the overall output. Phase switch inverts the phase of your signal and lets you choose the one which will respond to the feedback a bit better. If that pesky feedback still occurs, you can utilize the Notch control and try to fight it that way. Saturate will steep your sound with analog brightness and definition, adding an extra ‘oomph’ to your acoustic sound. Comp EQ is the combination of equalizer and compression, making sure that all the frequency bands are represented the way you want them to be. Last but not least, we have Mute footswitch that mutes both standard and XLR outputs (it’s strange that it doesn’t bypass the pedal, though).
Before we jump into addressing specific details of the sound of Session DI, I can’t help but mention that this bad boy is quite expensive. But it has certain features that make it worth the money. It offers ethereal compression and equalizer. The combination of these two and the company’s own touch to it makes a lot of sense and forces us to enjoy this property a great deal. This particular property is sensitive to your picking dynamics and strumming intensity and will respond the same way you play. Saturate functionality will add a unique character to your guitar and steep it with a distinctive ambience. While the pedal isn’t too thick, once you engage these two features, you’ll immediately hear how your tones will fatten and enhance. In my personal opinion, Session DI is something that will definitely improve your performance a great deal.
To sum up everything said above, L.R. Baggs Session DI Acoustic Preamp is an amazing unit if you want something that is too simple to be true. It has some virtues that justify its price, but nobody can deny the fact that this thing is expensive. But if you do have money, I highly suggest investing in this one. Good luck!
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